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Military

Homeless Vets Find Rest At 27th Annual Stand Down San Diego

People line up at Stand Down San Diego in 2012.
Veterans Village of San Diego
People line up at Stand Down San Diego in 2012.
Homeless Vets Find Rest At 27th Annual Stand Down San Diego
The Veterans Village of San Diego is applying the Stand Down idea to homeless men and women who face the daily battle of life on the streets.

During war, exhausted combat units would "stand down" to take a break from battle to rest and recover in a place of relative safety. The Veterans Village of San Diego is applying this idea to homeless men and women who face the daily battle of life on the streets.

This is the 27th year of Stand Down San Diego, and Veterans Village CEO Phil Landis is preparing for a big turnout. He said last year more than 1,000 people took part and this year, 800 are already registered.

Landis said he's hoping turnout will be down this year if this means fewer vets are homeless.

At Stand Down, homeless men and women receive dental and medical care, PTSD counseling, legal help and other services.

"Think of it as a pause, an opportunity to come into a community center of healing where men and women have the opportunity to be in a safe environment," Landis said.

Stand Down relies on 3,000 volunteers, Landis said. The goal is to help people escape the trap of homelessness.

"It provides an opportunity for folks to get the services that they need so that they don't have to be homeless," he said. "Nobody wakes up in the morning and says, gee, I think I'll spend the rest of my life on the streets."

The event starts Friday at 6 a.m. and runs through Sunday. It will be at Balboa Park on Russ Boulevard near Balboa Stadium.

Phil Landis, Stand Down